Will Uganda Move Towards A Knowledge Economy?

viagra dosage geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>In the last three years, information pills I have owned an iPhone and iPad and a Samsung galaxy. Fortunately for me, I got the Samsung from my friend Bitature and the iPad and iPhone from a friend in the USA.

Otherwise, my employer, MUBS would have had to buy the phone for me and I guess the iPad.

The hoe costs less than $5 and the iPhone is in the range of $1,000! The hoe is basic iron from the industrialisation era and the phone is a knowledge product.

No wonder, Apple Computers, the makers of the iPhone and iPad had at one time more money in their bank accounts than the US government. The fellas wreck in dollars and we wreck in poverty.

How do we expect to turn our fortunes around as developing nations if we don’t give priority to the development of knowledge.

Last year, MUBS staff won grants from government for research. A year later, the money has never been disbursed!

If we don’t put importance to research then how can we develop knowledge?

In my presentation, I reviewed the models by Solow and Romer two economist who talked about knowledge and research and development as the additional requirements to labour and capital in the equation to fast track economic growth.

The industrial revolution transformed western countries from agrarian economies to industrial ones.

Development of technology has enabled these countries to move from industry based to service based and in recent years, to information based. The information based economy is the knowledge based economy.

But how does Uganda or other developing countries get there?

These countries cannot develop similar technologies as the west or the other developing countries have done.

They don’t have the human resource let alone the money to do it.

Singapore and Malaysia tried a home based model; they achieved a great deal but earned the wrath of the developed countries who called their leaders dictators.

But sustaining that growth has only been through opening to western technologies, this way, these counties have joined the mainstream world economics.

Without those dictators, this change in these countries would not have happened. My prescription is very simple.

First of all, we have to get people to know they are poor and it’s important that they get out of that condition.

In the literature of change management, we call this a compelling need for change.

Probably this is the most difficult. It is at times referee to as change in mind set.

I have heard this word around for so long that I am not sure what it means any more.

How do I get the 80% of the people in Uganda who leave in the rural areas to see the need for change?

The next is make them work a little more for those already working and those who are not, to make them see the need to work and actually work. This increase in production would then be followed up with increase in productivity. Tough not so? Changing the 100 year-old hoe!

With more production produced efficiently you have something to sell, especially outside your country.

Uganda, I guess can feed its neighbours only if it was able to produce more and more cheaply.

It’s at this stage that adoption of more advanced technologies would be necessary.

Technology can be used in production and logistics management, but there must be something to manage!

The leapfrog in technology usage provided by mobile technology gives an indication of what is possible.

Technology would lead to more efficient production and this should move the population away from agriculture.

Industry in these countries will never move to heavy industry. That should be left to the advanced countries.

Funding research should receive some priority. I am surprised that our research is in products like cassava and matooke!

What benefit will cassava research add to the country? If it was in how to convert cassava into manufactured products, I would go with it.

But to provide better yield for consumption is a lost cause!

What products can we get out of cassava or matooke is fine but how to produce it better is not a research matter.

Matooke is one of the things that are so cumbersome to produce and cook.

A bunch of matooke tales 18 months to be harvested and is eaten in one meal by a group of about 10 people.

In 18 months, you will produce possibly three crops of maize! If you look at an acre of matooke and acre of maize, I think you will go for maize.

Good, matooke and I must assure you, I love matooke, takes over six hours to cook. This is energy you are spending.

It is no surprise; poor people are growing matooke and cooking it for those many hours! They cannot emerge from poverty!

They can never transform into a knowledge economy.

Knowledge economy for Uganda is Not Just Yet!

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